Highlanders win Women's Regional Championship
The Highlanders were declared Women’s Regional Champions for 2015 after a comfortable 6 wicket win against the Reivers at Doo’cot on Sunday 23rd August.
Having won the toss Highlanders captain Abbi Aitken had no hesitation in asking the Reivers to bat first on a damp wicket.
Scoring boundaries was always going to be a challenge, which meant the running between the wickets from the outset had to be good. Kathryn White and Abtaha Maqsood opened the innings and Aitken got the early breakthrough having Kathryn White caught at cover by Kathryn Bryce.
The next over Katie McGill had Abtaha Maqsood caught behind by Sarah Bryce leaving the Reivers 5/2 after only 7 balls.
Charlotte Bascombe and Kari Anderson looked to steady the ship and had moved the score to 17 before Bascombe was run out by Lois Wilkinson. Reivers captain Samantha Haggo and Anderson added a useful 46, before the latter was out caught at cover by Aitken of the bowling of Lily Steindl.
Steindl then removed Alice Baldwin and Lorna Jack in quick succession before a 27 run partnership between Haggo (38*) and Nadia Wheeler saw the Reivers post 100/7 after 20 overs. Lily Steindl was the pick of the bowlers picking up 3/15 after her 4 overs.
Annette Drummond and Sarah Bryce opened for the Highlanders and batted sensibly to take the score to 11 before Bryce dragged on a wide delivery by Haggo. Kathryn Bryce, who has been in fine form with the bat all season, was in the runs again, together with Drummond, added 46 for the second wicket, before Bryce was well caught at square leg by Hannah Rainey for 26. 7
Liz Priddle and Drummond added 16 before Priddle was out for 5 of the bowling of Kathryn White, caught at cover by Kari Anderson. The Reivers sensed that if they could continue taking wickets they could take the game into the last over.
Katie McGill, on the other hand, wasn’t going to go down without a fight. McGill scored a quick-fire 15* as Drummond (39*) stood firm to lead the Highlanders to victory. The best bowler for the Reivers was Kathryn White who finished with 2/18 from her 4 overs.
After the game Kari Carswell was in reflective mood, “It was a good run out for both teams. The pitch made it difficult to hit through the line, but the batters who scored the most runs adapted well to the conditions.
The regional programme remains one of our most important competitions and this is where players have an opportunity to show what they can do to push their case for national selection. We’ve seen some great individual performances in the series this year, and some players have used it to find some form and that’s great to see.
Competition for places in the senior squad is intense, and it’s great to have to make some tough decisions, it’s not something we have had the luxury to do before, so that’s a positive.
We are now playing more cricket home and away than ever before and the girls are putting in an enormous amount of work to improve their skills. We have three 50 over games in the ECB One Day Cup to look forward to, before our focus will move to preparing to the best of our abilities for the Global Qualifying tournament in Thailand this November”.